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Island-based Veterans & Family Memorial Care collecting cell phones for American soldiers

By Staff | Dec 4, 2009

More than 150,000 troops are serving overseas and are away from their families. As a result, the Sanibel-based Veterans & Family Memorial Care is calling on all Americans to support these brave men and women by donating their old cell phones.

Mark and Valerie Davis, island residents for nearly 14 years, own and operate Veterans & Family Memorial Care (VFMC). They are the former owners of Horizon Funeral Home in Fort Myers and have provided thousands of area families with respectful, dignified, affordable funeral and cremation arrangements.

VFMC’s exclusive funeral home provider network has collected nearly 4,000 old cell phones that have translated into over 222,000 free calling time minutes for our heroes overseas.

“Our strategic partnersip with Cell Phones for Soldiers has been a tremendous success” said Mark Davis, CEO and founder of Veterans & Family Memorial Care. “Our nationwide network of nearly 800 family owned funeral homes in 45 states and Guam, are committed to giving every soldier serving overseas a much needed connection to their loved ones back home. Many of our Providers have spearheaded the collection drive by enlisting their local VFW, American Legion and Vietnam Veterans of America posts to support the collection effort. They have also invited local hospices, churches and synagogues to participate as well.”

Cell Phones for Soldiers recently honored VFMC with special recognition on their Web site, www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com. People in communities nationwide can donate their old cell phones to the cause at any one of the nearly 800 exclusive VFMC providers in 45 states and Guam.

The goal of the collection drive is to collect 5,000 phones over the next few months. To find a drop-off location near you visit www.VeteransFuneralHomes.com and click on the Veterans Funeral Home Directory or call toll free 1-866-770-6791.

In addition to their partnership with Cell Phones for Soldiers, VFMC providers participate in many community outreach programs initiated by VFMC. For example in honor of Veterans Day VFMC launched their annual “Operation Sweaters For Veterans” initiative. The collection drive yielded thousands of sweaters and gloves which will be delivered to Veterans Homes and VA hospitals for veterans in need nationwide. During the first two weeks of November, participating VFMC providers partnered with “Wreaths Across America” to help place a Christmas wreath on veteran’s graves in the VA National cemeteries across the U.S. on Saturday, Dec 12. This is done in conjunction with the parade and ceremony held at Arlington National cemetery each year.

Currently, Mark and Valerie are coordinating their annual “Christmas Stockings For Soldiers” initiative. Participating VFMC providers give out free Christmas stockings to people in their community who decorate them and fill them with Christmas goodies. They return them to the funeral home, and the funeral home at their own expense ships them to troops overseas.